A woman accused of the hit-and-run killing of a Post Falls boy as he walked home from school has been ordered to stand trial for manslaughter.
Connie C. Bickley waived her preliminary hearing Friday and was bound over to 1st District Court for trial in front of Judge Craig Kosonen of Shoshone County. Kosonen himself pleaded guilty to drunken driving earlier this month after crashing his pickup into a concrete barrier.
Magistrate Debra Heise also denied Bickley’s request that prosecutors return her 1986 pickup before her trial. The truck was seized as evidence when Bickley was arrested last month.
Prosecutors allege Bickley was driving drunk when her pickup veered off Seltice Way on Nov. 10 and hit Nicholas Scherling, 13, from behind. Bickley got out, checked the damage to her truck and drove home after the accident.
Blood tests done by the state crime lab show the Post Falls woman’s blood-alcohol level was .20 - more than twice Idaho’s .08 legal limit - when she was arrested, prosecutors said.
Bickley’s attorney has said Bickley was drinking before the accident but wasn’t drunk. Bickley mistakenly thought she hit a sign or a post and was on her way back to the scene when she was arrested, her attorney said.
Scherling was carrying his broken bicycle in the dirt along Seltice Way when he was hit two blocks from his home. He had just finished the second of two shifts at Post Falls Middle School.
His death sparked a community-wide debate over the safety of double-shifting, which began this fall to ease crowding at the middle school.
Bickley, 54, did not appear in court Friday to waive her preliminary hearing that would have required a judge to determine if prosecutors had enough evidence to justify a trial. She is charged with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
A trial date has not been set.
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MEMO: IDAHO HEADLINE: Woman faces trial in hit-and-run death